Unlike feature films, plays, concerts etc., short films aren’t necessarily viewed as an entertainment medium for the casual viewer. With films like An Entanglement, it’s a shame that short films aren’t particularly mainstream enough to be seen by a large number of people.
At just 16 minutes long, the short film starring Shiri Appleby (unREAL) features just 3 characters and 2 scenes, yet it offers powerful themes challenging ideas of morality, competition, and vengeance, all with a very simple plot-line and razor-sharp dialogue. One line that sticks is spoken by a hit man, describing himself as ‘a tendon that you stretch’, to the individual who hired him. This kind of thought-provoking statements is met with sometimes humorously sadistic suggestions that perhaps reflect our desensitisation of and expectation of humour behaviour. When the impact of these devices are this punchy, the story doesn’t need to last 2 hours.
The way the cinematography weaves with the sound design fits the ominous mood and it’s an impactful and intriguing concept for it’s running time. With characters that never let you pinpoint who they really are or what their real intentions could be, An Entanglement plays like a murder mystery with many twists and turns for the few minutes it plays. It’s hard to know who to root for, which is exactly the effect the filmmakers aimed for.
All this being said it’s possible too much may have been left out the narrative in concluding the story. Cliffhangers are extremely effective but with the right amount of suggestion, which isn’t the case here. Aside from this, it’s short films such as An Entanglement that deserve to be seen and encouraged to be divulged in as much as blockbusters and trips to musicals. With more and more known actors and actresses appearing in the medium, it’s a good sign that perhaps short films will become more popular.